Visit to the Republic of Korea (ROK)
Prime Minister Hatoyama, together with Mrs. Miyuki Hatoyama, first visited the Seoul National Cemetery which commemorates the people who lost their lives for the ROK, and offered a wreath at the Hyeon Chung Tower.
Prime Minister Hatoyama then held talks with Mr. Lee Myung-bak, President of the ROK, at Cheong Wa Dae, Office of the President. During the meeting, the leaders exchanged views on matters such as economic relations between Japan and the ROK, and the issue of North Korea. On the North Korean issue, the Prime Minister and the President agreed that the two nations would work in close cooperation for North Korea to promptly return to the Six-Party Talks so as to resolve the nuclear, missile, and abduction issues comprehensively. On the economic front, the leaders confirmed their intentions to bolster private-sector economic cooperation, including that among small and medium-sized enterprises. They also agreed to advance exchanges and cooperation in areas such as the economy and culture.
The Prime Minister and the President held a joint press conference following the meeting. Prime Minister Hatoyama said, "I am glad that in our meeting today the President and I reaffirmed the hope of making Japan and the ROK 'intimate as well as nearby.' Japan and the ROK have an important relationship as neighboring nations with common values, and this relationship forms the core of Japan's Asia policy. By deepening our cooperation in additional areas, I believe we can take a step towards the realization of an East Asian Community. I am also happy that the President and I are of one mind on this point as well."